As you drive from Glengarriff into Castletownbere the town nestles against a fold of hills, Knock Gour in the west and Hungary Hill to the east providing a sheltering backdrop.
With a bonus of morning sun over your shoulder, the colourful tumble of brightly painted gables and shop fronts rise out of the shimmering estuary.
Crossing the bridge by Brandy Hall you are reminded that it was once reached in ancient times by fording the river.
Visible from the bridge the old quay or pier which berthed many a coal and seine boat and shipped and landed cattle and pigs and the market produce from Cork and Bantry.
In town the number of shop and pub fronts is a further reminder of past commerce and with some bar stools to-day occupied by artists, writers, crafts people and the occasional celebrity who have found peace, inspiration and a homecoming here.
This is a world apart offering the discerning visitor solitude and tranquillity as well as incredible views over Berehaven Sound, Bantry Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Nature is a master here where you will find golden beaches, rugged cliffs, bog and moor with rare heath land flowers and birds. Castletownbere occupies a strategic location being at the centre of ‘The Beara-Way Heritage Trail’ The 220Km long section of world famous, ‘Beara-Breifne Way’ (The route taken by Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare after the retreat from Dunboy, Castletownbere in 1602).
It is the main gateway to the rugged beauty of the Beara Peninsula where Bere Island, Dursey Island, Allihies, and Eyeries beckon historian and sightseer alike. Castletown Berehaven or Castletownbere is the principle town of the Beara Peninsula and the largest whitefish port in Ireland and the second largest natural harbour in the world. This attractive colourful town is internationally known. A busy fishing harbour, depending on the time of year you may enjoy fresh crab, lobster, crayfish, prawns, salmon, mackerel, scallops and whitefish caught by the local fishing fleet.